It is a maiden MotoGP front row start for OCTO Pramac Ducati’s Scott Redding, as his 1’46.312 qualifying lap firmly placed him third on the starting grid for tomorrow’s race in Assen.
Conditions were mixed, and the riders had to come out on to a very wet track, after an earlier heavy rain shower. In FP4 it was the first time over the weekend that the teams had to use their allocated wet weather tyres too.
Redding did crash in the final free practice session, but he admitted that he felt good in the rain, and it showed. He then came into the pits, a few minutes before the chequered flag appeared and was fifth fastest overall on the qualifying time-screens. But then he came back out on to the Dutch track with Dovizioso and Rossi, and he was able to improve his time to make it convincingly on to the front row.
“I suffered a crash at the end of FP4 and my confidence was quite a bit different, but I saw the track was drying quite fast and I knew it would be an advantage for me. I felt good in the rain and I didn’t know why I crashed,” said Redding, at the track.
“But for the qualifying I saw I was P5 then I came into the pits and I was planning to make a stop and then I thought I have nothing really to lose and then I fell into a good position with Vale and Dovi out of pit lane. So I gave it my all and I made a couple of small mistakes off the line but I am very happy to be on the front row for the first time.”
The earlier free practice three outing was held in the dry, and Redding struggled with the harder rear tyre and wanted more dry track time so that he could test out the softer compound.
Redding added: “We tried with the hard tyre but struggled a bit more, but with the soft one I feel we could make some more laps with it, and would have been nice to have some dry time today but you cant have everything.”